When you’re design­ing a swim­ming pool or spa, you know one of the things you want to have is a high-qual­i­ty music expe­ri­ence.  But did you know that you can’t apply the same prin­ci­ples to choos­ing a sound sys­tem as you do for your indoor lis­ten­ing?  The out­doors presents a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent lis­ten­ing envi­ron­ment than indoors. Inside your home, walls absorb some of the sound and rein­force low-fre­quen­cy response.  Out­side, of course, it’s wide open, and there’s usu­al­ly much more back­ground noise — wind, traf­fic, bark­ing dogs, and even crick­ets.

There are a few more things to take into con­sid­er­a­tion when shop­ping for out­door speak­ers.

  1. How will they weath­er the ele­ments? (And weath­er is a big deal in Port­land or Van­cou­ver.) You can either place them where they will be pro­tect­ed some­what from the ele­ments, such as under a porch roof or over­hang.  Or you can make sure that the man­u­fac­tur­er puts them through extreme test­ing con­di­tions and that they will with­stand the ele­ments.
  2. What is the best place­ment for opti­mum sound qual­i­ty? The high­er you mount your speak­ers, the fur­ther the sound pro­jec­tion and the larg­er dis­tance from which you’ll get good sound qual­i­ty.

Set your speak­ers approx­i­mate­ly 12 feet from the lis­ten­ing area and 8–10 feet apart from each oth­er for the best stereo imag­ing.

  1. Mount­ing Options. Mount­ing your speak­ers direct­ly onto a wall will improve the base qual­i­ty.  Most come with mount­ing brack­ets but make sure that the mount­ing sur­face is strong enough for the weight of the speak­ers and won’t cause vibra­tion noise.
  2. Vis­i­bil­i­ty. They can look like stones, or a frog, or even your favorite fam­i­ly pet.  But you may want to keep in mind the place­ment and mount­ing sug­ges­tions above.
  3. Plen­ty of Base. The out­doors can make music sound thin and dilut­ed. To keep a warm, full-bod­ied sound, choose out­door speak­ers with good low-fre­quen­cy response (60Hz or below) that pro­duce enough base for a sat­is­fy­ing lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence.

Def­i­nite­ly test your speak­er place­ment for sound qual­i­ty before per­ma­nent­ly mount­ing them. Mount­ing direct­ly to alu­minum or cedar sid­ing in not rec­om­mend­ed; mason­ry or sol­id wood are the ide­al mount­ing sur­faces.

Let us know if you have any questions–and we’ll help you find the answer.

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